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  #1  
Old 05-03-2003, 09:46 AM
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Angry Bleck, cigarette smell... how to get rid?

The fact that the previous owner was a chain smoker was the biggest deterent in buying this car. But, we did anyway, thinking we could get rid of the smell. So far we have spent about $100... for a shampooer, and for ozone treatment. THe smell seemed to be gone, but now that the weather has warmed up, the smell is oozing back. If you get in the car when it's hot inside, the cig smell seems to rear it's ugly head.

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

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  #2  
Old 05-03-2003, 10:11 AM
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Ok, First that smoker should be put out of his misery .... it will save the Canadian Health System a lot of money ....

Then, I am not sure what you mean by ozone treatment...

All the carpet should be taken out and washed..... and dried outside...

Wipe all the remaining hard/slick surfaces in the car with Febreez... amazing how much smoke residue can be just on the inside glass surfaces...

Turn on the ac and the heat , one at a time, and spray lysol into the intake of the air circulation system... be sure car is up to operating temps and cycle through your various air options.. floor,combo,defrost, etc...
You may have to do that once a week for weeks...

There are two types of ' chemicals' which adsorb smells ( that I know of )... Baking Soda... Regular old ArmandHammer.... get a big box... AND Activated Charcoal... available in Pet stores for replaceing the filter in Aquariums ... typically in a ' qt milk carton'..

Either of these items can be spread out in a pan and renewed on a regular basis just like you would in a refrigerator...I would store this in the car each night...

One of the biggest areas for keeping smoke smell is the bottoms of the seats... if you can take them out and lightly spray Febreez on them out in the sunshine it may make a lot of difference...

And remember, if you take that smoker " out" you will be saving many other cars from this fate also...
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  #3  
Old 05-03-2003, 11:05 AM
chicago124
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Hi jassz,

Yes, please define "ozone treatment".

What generated the ozone and how long was the ozone used?

Purifying your car's interior is tough without the proper equipment. Yes, you can mask the odor by using shampoos on the carpeting, etc. But smoke gets into the areas that you can't see or reach without disassembling the car -- unless you use an ozone generator or better still, an oxygen plasma generator.

Also, you have to run the heating/cooling system for at least a little while when the treatment is taking place. Lysol can help in this process but it takes much longer. I have specific advice on what to do on that front.

Anything other than this is really a passive treatment and not actively reaching out and attacking all the odor's sources. Yes, it's worthwhile to clean the residue from surfaces. No you won't get all the smell out.

Full disclosure: Biozone Scientific is part of our consortium of companies so this is one area I can speak with some authority.

See the following thread for some additional information:

http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/showthread.php?threadid=58026

Best,
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  #4  
Old 05-03-2003, 11:37 AM
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Thanks guys! FYI, the ozone treatment involved pumping ozone gas in to the car for about 24hrs. It was done at a detail shop. They did tell me it might not work completely, but that it would help. Ozone can be used to sanitize (some pools have it now instead of chlorine), so I figured at the very least I would be rid of his germs! At first the car kind of smelled like I had been struck by lightening, but it didn't last.

Also, the AC isn't working. Or maybe it is, but the belt is missing. Could we do this air/chemical circulation thing with just the heat system?

Leathermang, I probably wouldn't get away with taking the guy out (though the judge might be sympathetic ). He did want me to let him know if I ever sell the car again (he sold it because he needed the money) because he'd like to buy it back. HA!! I would never sell it back to him again!
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Old 05-03-2003, 11:55 AM
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"Ozone can be used to sanitize " ... yes it can.. in fact one sewage treatment plant in New York state was using it very efficiently by the 1970's ... however, it involved pumping and spraying the effluent through a closed chamber to expose it to the ozone..
The problem you are dealing with does not involve ' sanitizing'. because no living animals are causing the smell.. unlike say... a 'moldy' smell...
You have particles which continue to " outgas" enough molecules which contain the smoke smell to be offensive....so you need to get to those particles and either change what they smell like, or encapsulate them so they can not continue to 'outgas'...
So you need to physically remove them from the car.. and a big problem is getting them airborne inorder to deal with them.. this is why I suggested first physical measures, then passive odor adsorbing chemicals which would be used in the long term while you are not in the car...
The charcoal is actually used when some poisons are ingested... much like burning toast to eat...
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  #6  
Old 05-03-2003, 12:25 PM
chicago124
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Hi jassz,

The detail shop may not have run the ozone long enough. Smoke is a tough contaminant to overcome. It is an organic compound though and it can be oxidized.

Ozone is a very powerful oxidzer. However, it needs time to work and that's a downside.

The ozone smell will fade after a while since it has a half life of 30 minutes or so.

I would use a Biozone 500 model in your car every night for at least a total of 48 hours. Also, I would run it when it's hot out and the windows are up. The pores of fabric/leather open with heat and that's when you get the smell.

I would run the ac system on recirc mode for 30 minutes. It may need more than one treatment.

Then I would place the Biozone right near the air intake for the AC system. Let it run for a half hour and do this several times. No need for the fan to be on high.

The units run on twelve volts with a small ac adapter. They take pennies a day to operate.

Best,
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  #7  
Old 05-03-2003, 01:08 PM
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Let me take a hit off my Marboro while I think about it....

One area to check is the vent / heat / AC for being "a" source. Pull the fan blower and if it has tar and stinks, you found some of it. Means that its in all of it and it will need to be cleaned out The only other tough area I can think of is inside the headliner. THe rest should be easy, but take effort.
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Old 05-03-2003, 01:36 PM
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It is a LOT easier to put a couple of cans of Lysol Aerosol through the air system than to pull the blower... and pulling the blower does not treat the air passages... the tubes which are likely covered in smoke residue also....
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  #9  
Old 05-03-2003, 07:45 PM
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Bleck, indeed....

OK, I can't resist. Years ago I had a job and decided to take the smell out of a washroom. Eventually I decided it couldn't be done. What can be done is to pump plenty of fresh air and possibly run a small ozone generator or recirculate through a purifier continuously. So you definitely want to have your AC working. You could swap out the seats and carpets. You can see where this is going. I stopped with a weekly wipedown and an air freshener on the floor (in my car, not the washroom). But I'm interested in any new ideas.
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  #10  
Old 05-03-2003, 09:17 PM
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Lightbulb

You have received many fine technical replies. I would like to add one that is easy and cheap. I just read that to get rid of stale smoke smels, let a bowel of water with a little ammonia stand in the area over night. It probably will not give a long term effect , but its worth a try.
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  #11  
Old 05-04-2003, 01:04 AM
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I think that all smoked in cars should be sent to off shore crushers and their owners condemed to ride three wheel bicycles for the rest of their lives.............
William Rogers.......
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  #12  
Old 05-04-2003, 11:21 AM
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Bad news story: daBenz's original owner loved his stogies. He quit in the late 1970's, died in 1989, and I got the car in 1992. I made the mistake of replacing with the wonderfull smell of mothballs after thoroughly detailing the interior (including cleaning the corrugated air vent tubes). Then a window actuator broke in 2000. Took the door panel off and I smelled cigar on the back side of the panel!

Good news story: a product called "Mother Nature's Odor Remover" was introduced to this region after the floods of 1997. Made from some kind of absorbent rock from Montana. You hang the bag until it can't absorb anymore, then set the bag in the sun for a day, hang the bag... The tag on my bag says it's the 6oz size and the phone no. 1-800-333-7254. Don't know if they're still in business but my bag is still working after 6 years of use. The mothball smell went away on its own, and I control the cigar smell with that little bag of rocks.
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  #13  
Old 05-04-2003, 12:25 PM
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Dabenz, the odor was still there after 11years??? Oh, now I am depressed.

I did get some sort of volcanic rock that was supposed to absorb odors, but it didn't help much. I will try some of the methods you gentlemen have suggested... thanks!
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  #14  
Old 05-04-2003, 04:30 PM
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try this...

there is an air freshener named OZIUM .. spray the interior of the car real well and also spray right under your wiper blades in the air intake vents for the air-fresh air intake.. run the air or fan while doing this.. you can also try LYSOL...
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  #15  
Old 05-05-2003, 11:49 AM
Diesel Power
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I had to clean out my brothers car when I put it in storage on my property. It also reeked of cigarettes. I thoroughly washed every bit of glass and plastic that I could. I then vacuumed the car out. I then sprayed half of the largest bottle of Febreeze that I could find all over the headliner, seats, floor, and cloth inserts on the doors of the car. I got into it after it sat for a month to start and run the car, and it didn't smell of ciagrettes. You may have to dump some of the Febreeze stuff in the HVAC intake with as bad as it sounds like the smell has impregnated into your car.

Febreeze is cheap, so give it a shot.

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